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Find a partial transcript for this episode at the bottom of this post – We suggest listening rather than reading, as it’s more fun 🙂 But if you’d prefer to read, do so below.

In this Travel Budget Special Podcast episode:

At $22 per person per day, full time travel has cost about half what living and working in Australia used to cost us. We explain all of our expenses in detail so you can emulate our success. What have we spent our money on? What was good value for money?

We discuss:

  • Feature: Psychologists prove why an experience based lifestyle will make you happier than
  • Main Topic: 2 years of budget data. How much have we spent and what we have spent it on. Learn how our $22 per person per day budget has been spent.
  • What have been the biggest expenses. Where should we have spent more, where could we have spent less?


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Weblinks from Travel Budget Special Podcast

World Nomads Insurance – Specifically designed for digital nomads, flashpackers, adventure & long term Travellers – Get a 5% Discount with our coupon code: FOOD5

Trusted – Use discount code 5DP to get a 15% discount on membership

How to become a housesitting pro in just 3 months.

Trail Wallet – The apple app we use to track our budget

Scoot Airline – Very cheap flight for Australia to Asia

The article about Experiences make you happier than things

AirBnB $20 credit off your first stay with this link

8 Reasons hiking sucks



Partial Transcript

The below content is based on the script we used to record this episode. So a lot of the live content and humour you’d get from listening is lost… But, if you can’t listen to the podcast, hopefully the below info will be useful to you.

This is a rough copy and paste that has not been edited or double checked for spelling and grammar. Seriously, listen the the podcast 😉

So here it is. After 2 years on the road, I’ve been through all the data we’ve recorded with our trail wallet app and the results are in.

Almost $32,000USD spent.

For those of you who have not followed our blog and route closely, I just want to sum up all the places we’ve been. We didn’t just sit in a cheap country for a year to spend this little. We have visited 22 countries in those two years

We have been to…
Thailand 3 times – its a hub for flights.
Hong Kong
China twice
South Korea
UK a few times

So, the total price evened out over two years for all the places?

$22 USD per person per day. So even better than the figures we talked about in episode 1 back in January, Mostly because we had our cheapest month on record this February.

So, how has our budget shaped up? What costs money when you travel? What cost a lot less than you think? And how has it compared to if we had just stayed home in Brisbane Australia and worked 40+ hours a week and only had a few weeks vacation per year.

If you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, you’ll probably guess already that it has cost us less than half what we used to spend in living a regular life in Australia.

Lets go through the numbers and then we will draw some conclusions for each.

Food 8703.17 AUD
22.10% Of total budget

Number One Expense – We like to eat!
Includes eating out and market shopping etc. In terms of percentage, I’d say we have spent about the same as we would have in Australia. In terms of the actual dollar value, its much less as food in most places has been cheaper, as has eating out. We’ve eaten out WAY way more than we would have in Oz.

Alcohol 7358.79 AUD
$8.27 Per Day

All our booze. Spent more than on accommodation! Whoops. Wine in Australia is quite affordable. Drinking out is not. So we have spent less over all, but in Australia we rarely went out for a drink more than once a week. It’s been much easier to go out and be sociable while travelling. Which is great because we love meeting people. Life in Brisbane was sort of lonely.

Accommodation 7216.1 AUD
$8.11 Per Day

In Oz We used to spend $1,300 USD per month on Accommodation.

That would have been $31,200 for 2 years. We spent less than $6,000 in 2 years while travelling! That is probably the biggest reason to travel. Simply paying to have a bed in most developed countries can eat almost half your outgoings. it’s ridiculous. Just the cost of accommodation in Australia has paid for our entire trip.

AirBnB ($20 Discount with this link)
Trusted Housesitters

Transport 5865.86AUD
$6.59 Per Day

All other transport. Ferries, busses taxis etc. The vast majority of our transport costs back home were commuting by train and by car. Some months we’d spend $100 a week. instead we’ve spent about half that and the travel has been purposeful to go visit places, rather than to go to work. Paying to go to work? Seem strange when we look back at it.

Flights 3506.51 AUD
$3.94 Per Day

All flights accept the two we pre-paid for before we left home. Which would be an extra $500 ish. Depends on where you come from when you start your trip. The rest of the flight prices, about $3,000 would add up pretty close to what someone taking long haul vacations might spend over two years? Maybe less.

Attractions 1692.59 AUD
$1.90 Per Day

Total cost of entry to all attractions from Taj Mahal to great wall of china to history museum in Prizren that only cost 1 euro. The reason this is so low is we try to do attractions on a discount, or find free ones. So many for free in London. Museums in Hong kong free on wednesdays. Using a fake student card in China for half price entry. Obviously this works out less than our past life expenses. We’d never have visited this amount of attractions in two year – wouldn’t have had time with working.

Entertainment 1638.29 AUD
$1.84 Per Day

All entertainment that wasn’t a specific tourist attraction. Cultural shows. Cooking Classes. Entrance fees to concerts. Performances. Includes the cost of Scuba lessons (about $500).
This is less than back in regular life. With little else to do and see when you live in one place, we’d have spent more on theatre and concerts to stay entertained.

Shopping 1454.88 AUD

Clothes, toiletries, replacing things that broke. We kept these costs lower by getting any expensive bits we needed for Christmas/Birthdays – is that cheating? Probably, but travel hacking is all about tenacity, right?
Either way, without a consumerist lifestyle and no necessity to buy much stuff – or anywhere to put it when you live out of a backpack, this is probably one of the biggest areas we have saved in.

Visas 900.98 AUD
$1.01 Per Day

We spent a lot on visas in Asia – especially China and India. Toms visa more than double australia. No visa fees in Europe.
Obviously, aside from a short vacation or two, we’d never have spent this much on visas. If we’d chosen more countries with free visas, we could have cut the costs right down.

Drink (Non Alcohol) 584.74 AUD
0.66 Per Day

Bottled Water, Juice, tea etc. Beer is often cheaper than tea in some countries!
We’d easily have spent this much back in Oz, though we were not big tea/coffee drinkers. Having to buy bottled water in many countries has had a small impact on our budget.

Miscellaneous 385.29AUD
$0.43 Per Day

Anything that doesn’t fit elsewhere. Tips. Laundry. In Australia we did our own laundry plus tipping is not a part of the culture. it wasn’t in many countries we went to either or at least tips would be small. So this probably cost us a bit more than staying home. If you are from the US, our 2 year expenses would have been way less than anything you could have achieved living their

USD48 – recorded – But Maybe closer to $150-$200?
$0.07 – or Maybe 0.22 per day?

Changed Card in Jan 2014 and different fees. I;m not sure on the exact value of this as we did not track it very well. It could be nearer $200 for 2 years. Most ATM withdrawals are free in Australia, so this is more than we;d have payed. We’ll also have lost money on conversion. It’s impossible to accurately record that easily. The other savings we have made mean our banking charges are sort of negligible overall though.

Bribes 29.37 AUD
$0.03 Per Day

Also Includes anyone who we had to tip that we didn’t want to. Pay offs to police – actually didn’t happen to us much. We didn’t have to put in as many bribes as we expected. We’ve been lucky.

Currencies fluctuate. For example the Japanese Yen has been weak against the USD, travelling their now would cost less. The Australian dollar, our home currency has fluctuated between 95 cents and 76 cents for each USD… So, right now, travelling with USD you are going to do even better than some of the figures we’ve given.

I’ve used a conversion rate of 82 cents, so, our $22USD per person per day could be closer to $25 per person per day if we looked back just at the first few months of our trip when the Aussie dollar was stronger. We can’t give exact figures, it’s just impossible over a 2 year period. But, for anyone wanting to slow travel to Asia & Europe, housesit, bargain on accommodation, travel in low season to some destinations, be flexible about travel dates and stay on the road long term, being able to repeat what we have done for under $30 per person per day should be realistic.

But, you do have to travel hack well. We’ve been doing this a lot and already had experience from day one, we’ve got better, but we certainly didn’t start from nothing. Honestly, after 2 years of extreme travel hacking, if anything, we let a few dollars slip the cracks a lot more often. Time is more precious than money and sometimes it’s just not worth the time to save a few dollars. Getting the cheapest flights a nd trains, having to barter with multiple people for accommodation. It was a fun challenge to start with, now we have more work to do and would rather focus on that than on saving a dollar or 2 per day.

Also, we don’t include the cost of insurance. Thats about $1.60 per person per day on average. Some people are crazy enough to travel without insurance. We prefer to have it. We used our own discount code last time we renewed in order to get 5% off!

use the link and the code FOOD5 to get 5% off your next policy.

As I mentioned earlier, our first flights were booked months before we left. Less than $500 for the two of us to fly from The Gold Coast, Near Brisbane, to Bangkok via Singapore on Scoot. That also includes an air asia flight from BKK to Yangon for the the Thingyan water festival.

DISCLAIMER: We are affiliated with TBEX & Trusted Housesitters, World Nomads, all companies we love and support. We are not affiliated with any other of the recommended products on this page. Our opinions, as always, are our own.


This podcast is new, so help us out. Please leave your comments below so that we can make changes to future episodes based on your feedback.





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